Senior Speeches: Cullen Vinar ’19

April 22, 2019

Although I have made many relationships here at Shattuck the last four years, there are two people I want to single out: my two younger twin brothers, Luke and Blake.

Each year, seniors and postgraduates at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.

Throughout the 2018-19 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.  

Relationships are something we all make throughout our lives, whether they are good ones or bad ones, they are present every day. After countless hours in the locker room, on the ice, on the bus, and at Holiday Inns with the guys, those relationships will be with me the rest of my life. Also, I cherish the friendships I have built in the classroom and around school just as much. As we all know, above everything else, it’s the people here that make Shattuck-St. Mary’s such a wonderful place for all of us. As I reminisce about the last four years of my life here, of course I think about the big games, the good test scores, and waiting for the Hub to be finished. But what I think about the most is the people I shared all those moments with and what I have learned from them.

Although I have made many relationships here at Shattuck the last four years, there are two people I want to single out: my two younger twin brothers, Luke and Blake. Yes, they may look practically the exact same, but they could not be more different. Growing up with brothers that are twins I have been asked many times “Don’t you get left out because they are always together?” The younger me would say yes, but now, good luck separating the three of us. Boys, we have definitely had our good share of laughs. For example, just when people finally thought they were going to tell you guys apart after Blake chipped his front teeth, Luke, you took it upon yourself to fall off of a high chair and match your brother. Luke, I don’t know why you felt the need to give yourself the matching chipped front teeth after you hit Blake in the face with a toy car steering wheel, but you did. It’s almost like you guys didn’t want to NOT look alike. Aside from all the laughs, both of them have taught me things that I will forever be grateful for.

Blake, thank you for showing me that you can have fun wherever you go and that friends are always there to be made. Being able to always strike up a conversation or lighten up a room is a quality of yours that I try to emulate in my life. Doing so, I have been able to make relationships I would not have made if it wasn’t for witnessing your outgoing personality every day. Also, I have learned that no matter how long I study for a test or how hard I make it sound, your overwhelming confidence will kick in and you will always let me know that you could have done better. Sometimes I don’t know how your head fits through the door, but I could not be more thankful for such an extroverted brother.

Luke, thank you for showing me strength. You have overcome more adversity than anyone I know and have done so with little to no complaining. For example, your double hip surgery last summer. Your mobility was completely altered, and you had strict rehabilitation protocol that kept you inactive and precluded you from basically everything you wanted to do. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been watching all your friends do all the things you planned on doing. Despite that set back, you kept a positive attitude the whole time. As I have watched you overcome the odds year after year it has only made me want to handle hard situations the same way you do. When I am struck with adversity, you are the first person that comes to mind and I immediately ask myself what would Luke do? You have proven to me that hard work truly does pay off.

Secondly, your introverted demeanor has put a good balance in my life. At first, when you were younger, I never really understood why you’d rather be with a small group of people or by yourself, but I have learned over time that getting away from the crowd every once in a while is a great thing.

Boys, thank you for your endless love and support. The sacrifices you have made over the years means so much to me because without them, I would not be up here giving this speech. Even though you guys are younger than me, I look up to both of you. Thanks again for helping me become who I am today, even though you didn’t know you were doing it. I love you guys.

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